Archive | June 2014

God’s Gifts

 

P ray continuously
A sk for everything than believe
I ntercession is what Jesus does on our behalf let Him bridge your pain
N othing is impossible with God trust Him

M ake room for healing learn to forgive
A lways remember Jesus loves you
N ever forget that somewhere people are fighting bigger battles
A ppreciate the small victories and celebrate them
G ods beauty is everywhere look for it in everything and everybody
E very tear that’s shed is seen by God talk to him even if your angry
M ake the effort to help someone else that’s hurting
E veryday should be celebrated, find something to be positive about
N ever give up God will give you strength and joy for each day
T ell someone about Jesus so they too can be embraced by a loving savior

Still the hot muggy weather continues in Ontario. I was hoping while we were enduring a very cold spring that this summer would be a cool one but no such luck. In addition to the trouble breathing in the humid air now that awful chest pain that I endured last summer has come back. I was back in emergency visiting the fine doctors and nurses in Lindsey Hospital and they could not account for the pain in my left lung. Heart tests were clear and they don’t think the small hole in my heart is causing a problem. I do have to get a stress test done but I am waiting to finish lung function tests in July first. A combination of not moving around much and not sleeping (side effect of the steroids) is starting to flare up my fibromyalgia so I am hoping the humid weather does not last long.

My old truck’s air conditioner decided to quit and it was just too much money to sink into the old gal so all last week we were looking for a new truck. My husband’s car does not have air conditioning so he was the one doing the looking. Living on a farm in a rural area we became great fan’s of the jeep and we managed to find a 2007  in our price range but it won’t be ready until Monday.

This is where I look back and think in spite of adversity the Lord is very good. All last week our neighbor drove me back and forth to work because I could not make the trip in my husband’s car without air conditioning. We could not have asked for better neighbours and the Lord has really used them to be a blessing to us. When things are really difficult it is so important that you keep on the look out for the good things that Lord is doing because sometimes they get lost in the storm. When this happens you miss the reminder that the Lord still has his hand on you and you’re not alone. I can honestly say the Lord has made me a better person through the hard times than when everything was smooth sailing.

When we got home from work last night the air conditioning in the house had blown a fuse and the house was very hot and humid. This would have meant another trip to the hospital in about an hour except our neighbor once again lent us her car and I sat in the driveway with the air conditioning running until my bedroom was cool enough to return to.

Now most people would have been upset about spending two hours in a car but armed with a laptop I was free to pursue my favorite hobby writing. I had the time to set up my other blog Godspoetbychoice-The Journey Continues. (Locked myself out of my first blog Godspoetbychoice – can’t remember the password ). Again as I was working on that blog the Lord reminded me of another gift he had given me. A tender-hearted father who had taught me at a young age to write poems and stories as a way of escaping the chronic pain that plagued me all through childhood. He taught me how to have a vivid imagination where nothing was impossible and all the while I am sure my father had no idea that the Lord was using him to teach me a tool in which I could use to point other to the Lord and his Goodness.

Even though I am stuck in a small room with no views of the farm I love so much I can escape these four walls anytime I want. All I have to do is pick up pen and paper and simply float away. My first blog Godspoetbychoice was a lifeline when battling respiratory flu and asthma last summer and if you check it out you will find some articles with pictures that will give you a glimpse of what animals reside here and some of the natural beauty that surrounds our farm. I wanted with all my heart this summer to be out and about working on the farm but if that doesn’t happen as much as I wanted I know the Lord will bless me in other ways.

I know this coming week in Ontario the weather is going to get even more humid and I would greatly appreciate any prayers for continued healing of my lungs

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The Drive

It has been a rough start to a new year in relation to my health. I have been battling some sort of constant health crisis since last July when I forgot to get my flu shot. Asthmatic’s can have real problems with their lungs when a respiratory flu sets in and the recovery process can take quite awhile forcing me to give up my business and go back to an office job after being away from the office for over ten years. In the beginning of this year I have had two really bad tooth abscess'(think it’s because the drugs I take dry all the saliva out of my mouth and that saliva has antibacterial properties that protect teeth) that needed to be treated by intravenous antibiotics and in Feb I caught my second round of respiratory flu that landed me in the hospital for a few days were they found a small hole in my heart.
Than after a very cold spring rapid humid air masses have kicked off Asthma season with a bang and being active on the farm is almost impossible right now. Lately I have become a prisoner in my bedroom where are one air condition unit is set up. I was so hoping that this summer would be better and I would be able to spend a lot of time with the goats and the horses. Than there are always the endless stream of kittens that we find homes for this time of year. The weather will certainly make that chore a little harder.
Since the influx of humid weather I drive to work with the air condition on and run into our air-conditioned office than come home and feel like a virtual prisoner up in my bedroom that offers a very limited few of our farm. Than tomorrow comes and I get up and do it all over again
In times like this I am so glad to be a Christian because whenever a health crisis strikes I see it as the Lord’s way of slowing me down so I can spend more time seeking his face. In prayer, reading the word, or writing I draw closer to Him for comfort and he strengthens me for the road ahead. Without knowing the Lord this journey would be very hard to handle. When I am sidelined from my everyday life and Jim is at work the Lord is my constant companion and it is through these circumstances that my trust in him grows.
I was overjoyed last week when the humidity cleared out for two days and I could resume my daily chores caring for the animals on the farm. But my joy was short-lived when the hot humid weather returned with a vengeance and the air conditioner in the truck quit working. We bought the truck second-hand a year ago and it has done nothing but breakdown and now we are scrambling to find a reliable truck in our price range which is not easy. The real fly in the ointment is my husband’s car does not have air conditioning  leaving me unable to go to work, or to doctor appointments  I simply can not breath in this weather. I have been very fortunate that my neighbor has given me a drive into work and has picked me up but last night I worked a late shift and she just couldn’t make it so my husband picked up in his car.
As I walked to the car I hoped the air would be cooler but no such luck. Every breath I took was uncomfortable and I knew that it would get worse with every passing minute of the half hour car ride home.
Ten minutes into the drive I felt a surge of heat and dread flow through my body and I knew a panic attack was on its way to make the drive even more difficult. As the panic attack took hold of my body I struggled to take deeper breathes hoping to squeeze some more oxygen out of the thick dense air. Even though I was aware of what was happening I was helpless to stop the onslaught of terror that was raging through my body. If you have never had a panic attack you simply can’t articulate to someone how awful they are. I knew if I could not calm down I would hyperventilate, have blurred vision and possibly pass out which would not be good for Jim. At this point I did not want to use my rescue inhalers for fear the medication would speed up my heartbeat and make the attack even worse. so I frantically looked for Lorezapam which I keep on hand to calm down  severe attacks of fibromyalgia but it works well for panic attacks as well. As I put the tiny pill under my tongue (it will absorb into blood stream very quickly this way) I realized it would not melt because of my severe dry mouth and for once I had no water in the car. Now the panic attack was full speed ahead and I had no idea how to keep it at bay.
Than all of a sudden a very calm quiet voice in the back of my head said its just fear Jen just pray. I knew the second I heard that quiet command it was the Lord reminding me he was right there looking out for me. immediately I began to pray and the words of Timothy 2-17 came to mind. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and a sound mind.” Soon after the panic began to subside to a level where I could control it and I was able to concentrate on what Jim was telling me about his day and I got through the drive.
It’s little events like this that the Lord uses to teach me to trust Him. With each challenge we conquer together Jesus leaves memories that constantly remind me of his love and faithfulness toward me even when I don’t do anything to deserve his love.
Even though the Lord allows adversity to touch us all he makes it clear to the one’s who seek him that He is always the rock we should cling to when the storms of life threaten to sweep us out to sea. He definitely is a real and present help in times of trouble and I could not live my life without Him.

Do You Judge by Outward Appearance?

Corinthian 10:7-11

Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself that just as he is Christ’s even so we are Christ’s

8 For even though if I should boast some what more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction I shall not be ashamed Lest I seem to terrify you by my letters

10 For his letters they say,” are weighty and powerful but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”

11 Let such people consider this that what we are in word by letters when we are absent such we will also be in deed when we are present

This passage of scripture gives just a little snapshot into some of negative things that were being said about the apostle Paul in the early days of the church and his response. Instead of being hurt and lashing out Paul reacts with faith and stands his ground. A very hard thing to do when you are being persecuted.

Let’s face it no matter who you are there will always be someone ready to put you down at some point in life for how you look, what you believe, how healthy you are or are not. Even the Apostle Paul had to deal with some sort of chronic illness (we are never told what it was) in which he implored the Lord to take away so he would be more effective in his Christian life. The Lords answer was clear, “My grace is sufficient for you”, not exactly what Paul had in mind I am guessing

How and when you are diagnosed with a Chronic illness can have a profound effect on your life depending on how you decided to react to the news. I have been dealing with health challenges from a very young age. I had constant colic as a baby at age of 18 months I was diagnosed with encephalitis and meningitis which slowed my development and I was very tiny. Childhood Asthma started around eight but dealing with Chron’s Disease for me was very hard. I was very sick with loose bowels, chronic stomach pain and chronic fatigue. I remember being carted around to a bunch of doctors that told my mother I was spoiled just wanted attention etc. Thank goodness my mother is a tower of strength and never believed the opinions of those doctors and kept insisting there was something else that was  deteriorating my health and at age twelve I was finally diagnosed with Chron’s disease that was so severe that I needed a blood transfusion, endured three bowel blockages that lead to a bowel resection before the age of 21. The hardest part of this experience was not being believed by some of the doctors and the insensitive things they said in front of a child that would stay with me for the rest of my life. Even now I am not immune to the uncaring words of nurses and doctors who seem so detached from a room full of hurting people.

Case in point I went to the hospital for a ventolin mask because my chest was tight and I know when I am headed for trouble. After going through triage and being assigned my seat a nurse came in to examine me. She said you are not even wheezing to which I informed her I very rarely wheeze in an asthma attack now that I am an adult and I do have a peak flow monitor that I use so I know when my breathing is starting to head for trouble. She said that she did not hear anything treatable so I would just have to wait for the doctor to decide to give me a mask. So I sat there for two hours waiting for a doctor. While I was sitting there waiting I heard the doctor ask about my chart to which the nurse replied oh she just thinks her chest is tight. This one reply was enough to help sway the doctor’s opinion on my condition and instead of coming in he continued with rounds while my chest grew more and more uncomfortable. Finally a medical practitioner (different from a doctor) comes in to ask me what was wrong and I went through my story but this time I told him how hurt I was about the way the nurse dismissed the way I was feeling. I told him I have had asthma since I was young and being 49 years old I had better things to do than to sit in emergency if there was nothing wrong. So away he went to get a peak flow meter that kind of looks like a little gun you blow into and it measures how your breathing is. Finally he went in and talked to the doctor and I finally got a mask. I had no problem with the fact the nurse didn’t hear much going on in my chest what I took an exception to was her inferring to the doctor that it was all in my mind. While I was sitting there I poured out my heart to the Lord and told him it is so frustrating to have people pass judgement over you when they really don’t understand what is happening inside your body.

Since I have been diagnosed with fibromylgia I have always been active cleaning houses and working on our hobby farm, and for the most part I had learned how to ignore the pain and keep pushing through. But three years ago I lost that fight and started taking Lyrica to help with severe nerve pain, Upon taking the medicine I knew weight gain was a side effect but I was shocked when I packed on seventy pounds very quickly. As hard as this was I was shocked on how much my weight gain bothered people and how differently they acted toward me. One well-meaning member of my congregation actually touched me on the shoulder and said I just wanted you to know I am praying for you to change your eating habits. It was as if she thought I went home one day and decided to eat nothing but mars bars for these last months. It was a very painful time and I hated to look at my reflection in the mirror. But still the Lord urges me to forgive these people for their ignorance and I do my best to let it go because I know harbouring these feelings will only make me bitter and hurt me in the long run.

The great thing about pouring out my heart to Christ is he knows exactly what is going on in the inside and he knows my heart when so many others don’t because they only see and judge on the outward appearance.

Having to deal with chronic illness can start to get to you and there were times in my life when I felt that I was nothing but a burden to my family but getting to know the Lord has shown me that my outward body has no bearing on what I can achieve for Christ and how I can serve others.

The bible is packed full of stories of very sick people who glorified God just by the way they lived. If Jesus had no lepers to cure, no blind eyes to open,no useless limbs to strengthen and no broken hearts to heal the world would have had a much more difficult time recognizing him as the Son of God. For it was through these first miracles that many came to believe in Christ.

If you have an illness,chronic pain, chronic fatigue, paralysis or lost a limb let no one tell you that you can’t be used by God to reach out and help others. Sometimes the best medicine can be found in forgiving others and reaching out to help someone else.

Now if your brave enough to set out on this path don’t be upset to find that you might be met with some kind of disbelief, ridicule and contempt but take heart all of Christ’s twelve disciples were faced with great ridicule and unbelief but it was through their perseverance and unshakable faith that most of the world has heard Christ’s message to the world John 3:16″For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

For me that message of hope has been life saving and helps to shine great light and joy into what can be at times a very painful existence.